Some UK airport shops are selling alcohol in sealed bags in a bid to reduce disruption caused by drunk passengers, the aviation minister has said.

Robert Goodwill said Glasgow and Manchester airports were trialling the scheme amid growing concerns about travellers' behaviour.

He revealed that several airlines have written to the Government recently to warn about the number of alcohol-related incidents.

"An aeroplane is a unique environment, a confined space, filled with families and other travellers, and while in the air out of the reach of traditional law enforcement," Mr Goodwill said.

"There's little chance that a drunken passenger could pose a threat to the plane itself, but some have tried."

Last week a British Airways passenger was arrested after allegedly trying to force open an exit door on a transatlantic flight.

Mr Goodwill told the Airport Operators Association conference in west London: "We don't want to stop passengers enjoying themselves or prevent people from flying.

"But we do want people to put a brake on before things get out of hand.

"Already, some airports are taking new steps. Glasgow and Manchester airports are trialling the sale of duty-free alcohol in sealed bags."

He said airlines need to "look at their approach to serving alcohol on board", while the Government must "make sure that enforcement is effective".

Mr Goodwill added: "For a proportion of passengers, their holiday begins in the airport bar, whether they arrive at the airport at seven in the evening or seven in the morning.

"For some passengers, a delayed flight means that the first drink of the holiday quickly becomes the first three, four or five drinks.

"And in at least one airport today, passengers are able to pull their own pints at their table."

He went on: "Our aim should be to ensure that flying is a safe and enjoyable experience for all travellers, and that flying doesn't end badly for the careless few."